Character Jug Price Guide, Doulton Character Jugs

John Peel Character Jug information and price guide

The Royal Doulton John Peel character jugs were designed by Harry Fenton and encapsulate the essence of the famed English huntsman known for his vibrant personality and hunting prowess. It was the first Doulton jug based on a real person. Issued between the late 1930s and 1960, this series presented John Peel in various sizes, capturing the rugged charm of this iconic figure in traditional hunting attire. In this John Peel Character Jug information and price guide we look at the background of jug and some realised prices at auction.

John Peel Character Jugs
John Peel Character Jugs

Each of the four variations of the jug features John Peel dressed in a maroon coat, a dark grey hat, and a dark blue bow tie, each complemented by the handle in the form of a riding hunting-crop. The crop is generally black and grey with a white top—an emblematic accessory of his hunting ensemble. Some variations of the crop include an orange and grey version. The tiny version has a simple plain black handle. There is a rare, thought to be a one-of-a-kind version of the John Peel jug which has the handle in the form of a hunting horn.

john peel character jug handles showing variations
John Peel Character Jug Handles Showing Variations Grey & Black, and Orange & Black

The large jug (D5612) stands at 6.5 inches and was introduced in 1937, alongside the small version (D5731) at 3.5 inches. The mini (D6130) at 2.25 inches and the tiny (D6259) at 1.25 inches followed, enriching the collection that spanned over two decades.

The John Peel jugs are not merely decorative; they are a tribute to one of England’s most celebrated huntsmen, capturing his spirit and presence in a form that resonates with both historical enthusiasts and collectors of fine ceramics.

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About John Peel: John Peel (1776–1854) is a legendary figure in English folklore, best remembered for his dynamic role in the hunting field and his exuberant social life. Known for his spirited hunting sessions, Peel’s life inspired the famous folk song “D’ye ken John Peel,” penned by his friend John Woodcock Graves. This song, celebrating Peel’s hunting exploits and his pack of hounds, became an anthem of sorts in Cumberland and beyond, immortalizing his character in English cultural heritage. The Royal Doulton jugs beautifully capture his vibrant essence, dressed in his hunting best, evoking the spirit of an era characterized by the thrill of the chase and the camaraderie of the hunt.

Royal Doulton John Peel Tiny Character Jug
Royal Doulton John Peel Tiny Character Jug. This example sold for $23.96 on ebay, April 2024.

These jugs not only reflect the craftsmanship and artistic expression synonymous with Royal Doulton but also serve as a historical ledger recording the evolution of public order in London. The character of Old Charley is inspired by the “Charlies,” watchmen who were an essential part of London’s night-time public safety during the 1600s and 1700s. Named affectionately after the king, they were known for their cries of “Ten o’clock and all’s well,” a reassurance to the citizens that all was secure under the watchful eyes of these guardians. This role was phased out with the establishment of a more formal police force in the early 19th century.

John Peel Price Guide
In the current market, at most auction houses, the value of  Old Charley (apart from some variations) are not worth enough to be sold individually.

D5612 Large version £20-£40
D5731 Small version £15-£20
D66130 Miniature version £15-£20
D6259 Tiny version £10-£20

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